If Only Words Could Keep Me Warm

by Mandy Troxel

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credits

released January 18, 2014

Mandy Troxel, Guitar and Vocals
Bruce Harvie, autoharp, background vocals, bass, bass harmonica, dobro, mandolin, omnichord, pump organ, snare, telecaster, ukulele (you get the picture)
Jed Jedrzejewski, vocals on “Break Your Heart”
Annette Marsden, Accordian
Anita Orne, Banjo
Walter O’Toole, harmonica
John Polstra, pedal steel
Mary Wachter, violin
Maizie, canine ambiance
Special thanks to the good people of Eastsound for singing on “A Town This Size”

Produced by Bruce Harvie and Mandy Troxel
Mixed and Mastered by Bruce Harvie at Olgabowl Studio, Orcas Island
Front Cover photograph by Anika Shaw.
Art direction by Robert Deeble w/assistance by Deyo Glines

All songs written by Mandy Troxel ©2014 excepting:
The House Where Nobody Lives by Tom Waits (Jalma Music)
In A Town This Size by Kieran Kane (Family Style Publishing)

Special thanks to those of you who have given me the sweet things of life, big and small. Bruce Harvie, you are an island gem. Thanks to all the large-hearted musicians on the album. Big Love to Kari, Cathy, Laurie & Lisa, Amy and their families; Robert & Anastasia Deeble, the Woodsong community, the Indralaya Deep Singers, and my kickstarter backers. Thanks to Andy. Molly & Lucy, I love you.

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Mandy Troxel

"With a folky voice of clarity that reminds one of early Emmylou Harris, Troxel navigates the waters of love lost and found with songs that offer memorable lines, but no easy answers." - Bill Mallonee

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Track Name: Hello Stranger Again
Hello stranger again, hello stranger again...

We bought this kitchen table 20 years ago today
You cooked up some bacon, I put some flowers in a vase
Funny how the years can seem a day or two ago
When at the same time I’m looking back
at people I don’t know.

Hello Stranger again, hello stranger again
Either we call the whole thing off
or start from scratch again
Either way you look at it
it’s a curious sort of end
Hello stranger, stranger again.

I know just how you treated me
and how I treated you
It’s an awful lot of shit we’ve done
for strangers to work through
20 years of first impressions
are a hard thing to forget
When you’re asking for another chance
like I haven’t tried that yet

You say that you are different now
I’m sure that’s mostly true
And even you cannot deny
I’m a whole lot different too
And if our two new selves should happen
upon each other on the street
I must confess I have my doubts that
they should ever meet

We bought this kitchen table
20 years ago today....
Track Name: Nobody's Fault But My Own
I guess it’s nobody’s fault but my own
I guess I have to admit it
though I can hardly believe it
when you say you love me

How it happened I can’t even guess
‘Cause I am clumsy in love at best
A work in progress, it’s plain to see
Yet despite this you’ve chosen me

Was it something I did? Was it something I said?
Or some crazy idea that you got in your head?

I’m thinking that it’s too good to be true
When you want me to stay with you
Love’s a mystery, but I admit
I could’ve had something to do with it

Was it something I did? Was it something I said?
Or some crazy idea that you got in your head?

I guess it’s nobody’s fault but my own
I guess I have to believe it
Though I can hardly admit it
When you say you love me
Track Name: Don't Make Me Break Your Heart (Again)
Don’t make me break your heart again
We’ve been through all of this before
You don’t have to change your locks
I won’t be standing at your door
I won’t be stringing you along
I’m all done making up my mind
Don’t make me break your heart again
Because it breaks mine every time

I thought that I would be with you forever
I meant it when I promised to be true
But now I find I’m saying to you “never”
And don’t you think I’m not aware
of how this sounds to you

Don’t make me break your heart again
‘Cause every time that I explain
I’m calling back the way it was
when I was taking all the blame
You don’t remember it that way
You say that everything was fine
Don’t make me break your heart again
because it breaks mine every time

This isn’t just a moment’s lapse of reason
A fickle change of heart to make you sore
‘Cause I have been unhappy for a season
A winter so much longer than
the ones that came before

And if I break your heart again
it’s not because I just don’t care
I’m not indifferent to the past
It’s something that we’ll always share
And maybe when all this is through
we can be each other’s friend
For now I have to break your heart
and my own heart needs to mend.
Track Name: Forgive Yourself
Forgive yourself. It could have happened to anyone.
You are only human, you do the best that you can.

You made a choice.
You didn’t have much to go on.
You could not know the outcome.
You do the best that you can.

You live your life and you love your children,
but you are only human. You do the best that you can.

Hold on to all that is true.
Do what you need to get through,
but be kind to yourself, be kind to yourself, be kind

Forgive yourself. It could have happened to anyone.
You are only human, you do the best that you can.

You try to love with a heart that is broken.
And with all that’s been spoken
You do the best that you can

Hold on to all that is true.
Do what you need to get through.
But be kind to yourself, be kind to yourself, be kind.

Forgive yourself. It could have happened to anyone
You are only human, you do the best that you can
Track Name: Just Lonely
She takes honey with her tea
amidst the stacks of books from the library
Or talks for hours with her friends
telling stories, making plans
Or heads to the beach all on her own
Fills her pockets full of wishing stones
Her life is full and she’s feeling blessed
but what is this rising in her chest?

Maybe all of the stars align,
and she’s at the right place at the right time
Maybe it’s all meant to be,
or maybe she’s just lonely...

He’s saying things like she’s never heard
and she’s hanging on his every word
She can’t get him off her mind
and she’s mad at herself for wasting time
‘Cause they came too easy to be true
and she reckons he’s just lonely too
But who is she to second guess
what it is he’s feeling in his chest?

Maybe all of the stars align,
and he’s at the right place at the right time
Maybe it’s all meant to be,
or maybe he’s just lonely...

So you’re lonely, that’s ok
What’s a matter with that anyways?
It’s as good as any place to start
when it comes to matters of the heart
We’re all a little lonely...

One by one or hand in hand
we trace our stories in the sand
We’re either terrified or out to play
but the tide will take us either way
So walk with me to the ocean blue
and I will find a wishing stone for you
You can cast it out into the sea
or you can cast that stone at me

Maybe all of the stars align,
and we’re at the right place at the right time
Maybe it’s all meant to be,
And maybe we’re just lonely...
Track Name: One Year Ago Today
When the sun set on the western shore
one year ago today
You acknowledged that you needed more
one year ago today
You knew just what you had to do
Could it be much worse than what you’ve been through
But some strong tide was pulling you
One year ago today

You were fighting hard to stay afloat
one year ago today
You were captain of your own lifeboat
one year ago today
And when it came to sink or swim
You looked hard at your own horizon
And you struck out for the land therein
one year ago today.

Did you think it was too close to call
one year ago today
Did you think that you’d be here at all
one year ago today
And when your feet hit solid ground
did you take a breath and look around
You had no idea what could be found
one year ago today

Did you think that you would come this far
one year ago today
That your path had its own guiding star
one year ago today
Do you know you’re an amazing sight
just to see you standing in the light
How’d you know that it was worth the fight
One year ago today

Do you know you’re an amazing sight
Just to see you shining in the light
How’d you know that you were worth the fight
one year ago today
Track Name: Arlene & the Fourth of July
Arlene, Arlene and the Fourth of July
She had a light like the colors that lit up the sky
but my grandma, she had a certain sparkle in her eye
the kind that would not fade away

It was the summer of ‘27
and Grandma was sixteen and Grandpa had a car
They’d been friends since grade school
when they both moved to town
from their old midwestern farms

There was this girl from out of town
and her name was Arlene
She was the prettiest girl
these kids had ever seen
Their folks were all friends and asked
Gram if she’d be willing to show Arlene around

So Grandma called Grandpa,
who called his friend Charlie
And they jumped in the Chevy
to pick up the fair Arlene
Drove down to the high school
for the 4th of July
and the fireworks display

But there was a fire in the hills
above town that night
and it raged through the brush
and brightened the sky
and the cars lined up
to take in the sight
for the foothills were glowing.

Now, Grandpa was handsome
but Grandpa was shy
and ol’ Chuck in the backseat
he was an outgoing guy
and if you ask Grandma how
she and Gramps got together
she’ll say “someone had to sit
in the front seat with the driver”

And they don’t recall what the kids
in the back seat were doing
but the kids in the front seat
well they got to talking
and in just a few years
down the aisle they were walking
and the rest is history

Arlene, Arlene and the Fourth of July
She had a light like the colors that lit up the sky
but my grandma, she had a certain sparkle in her eye
the kind that would not fade away
Track Name: Dusty Guitar Waltz
Well you can't see the stars
for the light on the street
and you can't go to bed
for the noise or the heat
your walking the floor
and the sound of your feet
is the dusty guitar waltz

(Chorus)
So take your partner down to your knee
and tug at her heartstrings tenderly
She'll whisper a song, a sweet melody
in the dusty guitar waltz

The lights are all low
but you know that she's there
It's hard not to notice
the silence you share
is it love or regret
that keeps you aware
of the dusty guitar waltz
(chorus)

I'm sorry I left you
I promise to stay
I've been missing you so much
since I went away
She tries to believe him
she tries not to show
that his fingers betray him
much more than he knows

This dusty guitar
has been silent so long
that you fear if you play her
the notes will be wrong
You're forgetting that there
is always a song
in the dusty guitar waltz
(chorus)
Track Name: Blackberry Pie
Blackberry pie for breakfast
Blackberry pie for lunch
Come on over in between
and we’ll have a blackberry brunch
I confess it I’m a sinner
So let’s have blackberry pie for dinner
Just to keep my conscience clear
I saved a big piece for you dear

Adam and Eve, sitting in the garden
Baking blackberry pie in their solar oven
Naked as jaybirds, singing a song
They were picking blackberries all the day long
Didn’t need clothes, they were feeling just fine
‘Cause there weren’t no thorns on the blackberry vines
Nettles didn’t meddle in the task at hand
And the thistles just tickled ‘em where they’d stand.

Blackberry pie....

Now, even back then in the days of old
Children didn’t do what their daddy told
Sittin’ in the tree of right and wrong
the devil had a plan and they went along
Adam and Eve got kicked out of Eden
But there’s still blackberries ripe for the pickin’
But watch your step now, sure as you’re born
you’re gonna get stuck by the blackberry thorn

Blackberry pie...

The sun’s gonna shine and the clouds are gonna rain
The old world turns and the seasons change
You try to be good and you work real hard
But the berry vines still take the yard
So put on some jeans and an old sweatshirt
And pick those berries till it hurts
Hold your bucket up to the sky
And thank the Good Lord for Blackberry Pie!

Blackberry pie...
Track Name: Because You're Here
I’ll open my heart to you
I’ll open my heart to you
I’ll open my heart to you
Because you’re here

Look what I have made for you
a table has been laid for you
A fresh bed has been made for you
Because you’re here

You can’t help what you’ve been through
There’s so much we can’t undo
But I can open my door for you
Because you’re here

I’m clearing a space for you
I’m making a place for you
I’m praying for grace for you
Because you’re here

I’m wanting the world for you
There’s nothing that you can do
to prove this kind of love untrue
Because you’re here

When you open your heart to me
there’s no place I’d rather be
Your trust is your gift to me
because you’re here.

I’ll open my heart to you
I’ll open my heart to you
I’ll open my heart to you
Because you’re here
Track Name: House Where Nobody Lives
There’s a house on my block that’s abandoned and cold
Folks moved out of it a long time ago
And they took all their things and they never came back
Looks like it’s haunted with the windows all cracked
And everyone calls it the house,
the house where nobody lives
Once it held laughter, once it held dreams
Did they throw it away?
Did they know what it means?
Did someone’s heart break
Did somebody do somebody wrong?

Well the paint was all cracked
It was peeled off of the wood
Papers were stacked on the porch where I stood
And the weeds had grown up just as high as the door
There were birds in the chimney
And an old chest of drawers
Looks like no one will ever come back to the
House were nobody lives

Once it held laughter....

So if you find someone
Someone to have, someone to hold
Don’t trade it for silver, don’t trade it for gold
‘Cause I have all of life’s treasures
And they are fine and they are good
But they remind me that houses are just made of wood
What makes a house grand ain’t the roof or the doors
If there’s love in a house it’s a palace for sure
Without love it ain’t nothin but a house
A house where nobody lives

words & music by Tom Waits (Jalma Music)
Track Name: If Only Words Could Keep Me Warm
If only words could keep me warm I’d be asleep by now
If promises were kindling, we’d be fine.
We’d be sprawled by the woodstove, toasting our tiptoes
watching the shadows as flames crackled high

But the woodbin is empty, the stove’s full of ash
You can’t heat a house up on promises past
The bedclothes are tossed on the floor in a heap
I’ve given up trying to get me some sleep

I’m going to take all the sweet things in life big and small
And wind them all up like some big woolen ball
I’m going to knit up a blanket so cozy and warm
And wrap it around us to weather this storm

And we’ll snuggle in deep and we’ll watch the moon rise
and before you know it we’ll be rubbing our eyes
and with my arms around you, the blanket round me
I’ll feel you sigh as we drift off to sleep...
Track Name: In a Town This Size
In a town this size there is no place to hide
Everywhere you go, you meet someone you know
You can’t steal a kiss in a place like this
How the rumors do fly in a town this size

In a smoky bar. In the backseat of your car
In your own little house someone’s sure to find you out
What you do and what you think
What you eat and what you drink
If you smoke a cigarette
they’ll be talkin’ about your breath

In a town this size...

Oh, I had a fight with my boyfriend last night
Before the moon went down, it was all over town
How he made me cry, how I said good-bye
If it’s true or not doesn’t seem to count a lot

In a town this size...